Ambassador Reid to the Secretary of State.

No. 241.]

Sir: Referring to your No. 239 of June 30, 1906, I have the honor to report the receipt to-day of a letter from Sir E. Gorst, acting for the secretary of state for foreign affairs in his absence, saying that the divergence in the views of the two governments, as disclosed in your letter, makes an immediate settlement impossible. His Majesty’s Government is accordingly prepared, responding, as it says, to your suggestion, to confer upon a modus vivendi for this season, and will shortly submit proposals to that end.

Inclosed please find a copy of his letter and of my reply.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

Whitelaw Reid.
[Page 696]
[Inclosure 1.]

Sir E. Gorst to Ambassador Reid.


Your Excellency: The note, which you were so good as to address to me oh the 20th ultimo, forwarding a letter from Mr. Secretary Root respecting the rights of American fishing vessels on the Newfoundland coast, is receiving the careful consideration of His Majesty’s Government, and they have observed with much regret that the wide divergence of views between the two Governments which is disclosed by the correspondence makes it hopeless to expect an immediate settlement of the various questions at issue.

Pending the further discussion of these questions, however, and without prejudice to it, His Majesty’s Government are prepared, in accordance with the suggestion made in Mr. Root’s letter, to confer with the United States Government with a view to some arrangement which will secure the peaceable and orderly conduct of the forthcoming fishery, and they hope very shortly to be able to submit proposals with this object. I may add that such an arrangement would be merely in the nature of a modus vivendi applicable only to the ensuing season and should not in any way affect any of the rights and claims of either party.

I have, etc.,

E. Gorst.

(In the absence of the Secretary of State.)
[Inclosure 2.]

Ambassador Reid to Sir E. Grey.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the letter of Sir E. Gorst of August 14, regretting that, owing to the wide divergence from your views disclosed in Mr. Root’s letter respecting the rights of American vessels on the Newfoundland coast, it is hopeless to expect an immediate settlement.

I am glad to note that under these circumstances you expect soon to submit proposals for a modus vivendi for the ensuing season, and shall hasten to advise my Government of this purpose.

I have, etc.,

Whitelaw Reid.